I'm looking to get a new Garmin wristwatch.

Broadly, I'm looking at the Garmin Instinct 2/solar and the fenix 6.

Neglecting the price differential, the main difference seems to be that the fenix has 1. Maps and 2. Color screen.

Specifically for multi day mountaineering expeditions, how useful is the maps feature? In general, teams have 1-2 handheld Garmin navigation devices, so it's not a must have. But is the maps feature actually usable/useful on watches? One difference I've read is that having maps allows better altimeter calibration with GPS data. But I guess I could also calibrate altitude manually using the handheld device. Are there any other use cases I'm forgetting?

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    If you haven't found it already, check out DCrainmaker.com for pretty comprehensive reviews on sports watches - might help your decision.
    – bob1
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 22:29
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    The map is small, to me the main value in having it is that it's a backup for the primary map that's on my phone. Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 3:32
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    @LorenPechtel how useful is it, if it's so small? Could you actually navigate back to safety on it if your phone died and you were lost already? Properly in the wilds I'd have a paper map and a compass; GPS coordinates on the watch would be a nice addition to that, tiny maps much less so.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 9:38
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    @ChrisH I've never tried to use it navigate but I do know it's good enough to give me a pretty good idea of where the terrain will let me through. I should probably try finding my way back with it and see how well it works. Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 15:46
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    @ChrisH Yes I have. The solar is not that great, unless at the beach. Going out for 2-4 weeks in new terrain, I have to have a power bank, and a solar panel charger too. Besides, at higher altitudes, I'd usually have at least 1 jacket on, so exposing the watch to the sun can be tricky too. And mountain weather is, more often than not, bad. Btw, the garminfenix subreddit reddit.com/r/GarminFenix seems lively, so I'm trawling through some old threads there rn. At least some folks on the sub seem to actively use the watch map. I guess its good in combination with a handheld device.
    – ahron
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 7:49


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